Echo Chamber of Lies: Open Letter to Leonard Pitts on SPLC
Commentary by Steve Scroggins

The text below is an open letter to Miami Herald syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts, Jr., regarding his column (9/16/09) entitled, The ‘Culture War’ is real and scary.

Mr. Pitts,

This letter is to condemn your promotion of the Southern Poverty Law Center as if the SPLC were a source of "credible" information. We don’t expect you to take our word for it, but we do challenge you to look a little deeper, to see what others have written about the SPLC and their tactics, their motivations and to judge it yourself. Their history demostrates that they are frauds and conmen, character assassins for hire, and scaremongers whose primary motivation is fundraising under the pretense of fighting racism. It’s all about marketing and fundraising in the Church of Morris Dees. The commentary link below contains numerous links to various opinion essays, sources and investigative reports.

SPLC’s Reputation as Frauds & Conmen Grows — by J.A. Davis & Steve Scroggins

We tend to choose our sources for facts with care because we value our credibility. You, likewise we’re sure, value your credibility as a commentator with some sense of reality (as you see it). Perhaps you overlook or create some faulty arguments and twisted logic to get the conclusion you want or expect. OK, partisans often do that.

But your expressed awe of the SPLC’s "facts" (propaganda) is inexcusable when so much information is readily available which casts doubt on it. Because their falsehoods fit with your world view, you apparently didn’t question the source—at least not with any diligence. After all, if the bogey man of racism and grievance politics suddenly disappeared, you’d have to find other topics for ninety percent of your columns.

Seeing a list of isolated incidents all together…that spooked you? Timothy McVeigh and his accomplice were by all accounts loners. They attended one known militia meeting and were asked to leave. From this the SPLC infers that all militia groups think and act the way McVeigh did. A big stretch. You should review Dan Amato’s detailed rebuttal of the SPLC’s militia report (Aug 2009) entitled, Hate and Slander for Profit: Dissecting the Southern Poverty Law Center Report.

Your "Culture Wars" commentary suggests that you have swallowed the SPLC’s broad brush smears and logical acrobatics hook, line and sinker. Morris Dees (AKA Uncle Mo) is smiling and will be expecting your check. By regurgitating their pulp fiction, you along with hundreds of other writers/bloggers create an echo chamber of lies.

We agree that the "culture war" is real, but it is the liberal left and organizations like SPLC, ADL and their media lackeys who practice ritual defamation of ideological opponents. You, sir, are a participant and a "useful idiot" in their cause to smear everyone who disagrees with their world view. You have been used, whether you acknowledge it or not.

Our commentary and opinion may be tainted in your eyes. Why? Because we (me and J.A. Davis) happen to be members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans — we qualify for membership because our ancestors fought to defend their homes and families against an armed invasion during the War Between the States. In the eyes of many partisans and dupes of propaganda, that’s the end of the story and all the "justification" needed to dismiss our views and our sincerity. (Your "Heritage of Hate" smear commentary

[2000] comes to mind.)

Rep. Joe Wilson, the heckler from South Carolina is being smeared as a "racist" and even as a "Nazi sympathizer" by some in the media — because he is a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and he opposed removal of the Confederate battle flag from the Capitol Dome in Columbia, SC. This alleged guilt and the racist/Nazi smears on Rep. Wilson are not based on the substance of what Wilson has said or what he believes; it’s strictly GUILT BY ASSOCIATION. (Wilson rudely "dissed" the left’s hero and must pay!)

Numerous lazy and sloppy "journalists" have recently quoted the SPLC’s material ad nauseum attempting to make the case that Joe Wilson is a racist Nazi because he’s a member of a racist organization "…according to the Southern Poverty Law Center."

It is ridiculous nonsense for former President Carter and others to claim to know—without doubt or reservation—Joe Wilson’s motivations or those of others who oppose Obama’s policies. They know they read it somewhere, they think….actually some lazy writer just copied the bunkum on the SPLC website. These mindreaders see clouds of racism blocking the sun everywhere. It’s apparently beyond their comprehension that anyone could simply disagree without regard to anyone’s skin color.

Guilt by Association is a common tactic of the SPLC and their evil work has pervasively spread. They have smeared the SCV as a radical racist organization and suggest that all members are therefore racists and furthermore, they are even "right wing extremists" who should be watched by DHS and law enforcement because they are terrorist threats. All 30,000+ members are racists? Come on, Mr. Pitts, give that a moment of thought. Look at their website:

When the SCV invited Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (and his crew filming the "Looking for Lincoln" PBS documentary) to attend a recent SCV National Reunion, Dr. Gates expressed amazement (on the PBS program) that what so many of us were taught about Lincoln, the war, etc., is not true. We’re sure he was also surprised to see that SCV members were not the ignorant, drooling racist caricatures we are so often painted to be.

We should point out that there are black members, Jewish members and hispanic members in the SCV—members located all over the world. President Harry S. Truman (who ended segregation in the U.S. military after WWII) was an SCV member. President Dwight Eisenhower was a life long admirer of the character of General Robert E. Lee. President Theodore Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill often praised the character of Lee and all the tenacious Confederate soldiers. Are all these people also racist radicals, "neo-secessionists" and potential terrorists? Of course not. We do not speak for the SCV; the SCV does not necessarily speak for us. We retain our rights as citizens to speak for ourselves. Members can and do differ on political views.

Southerners have long been the target of slurs and slander on the part of the left and its propaganda machines, the SPLC and the ADL. As politics have changed, these smear factories have targeted many other groups — anyone opposed to parts of the leftist agenda. As columnist John Hawkins points out, the left’s mantra has shifted from "Dissent is patriotism" in the Bush years to "Dissent is racism!" now under the Obama administration. Southerners traditionally receive the lion’s share of the racist stereotype smear. Wilson is from South Carolina—aha! That explains it! But more recently the broad brush swings in a wider arc.

Anyone who opposes abortion, or opposes illegal immigration, or favors gun rights, favors the Bill of Rights (2nd Amendment, 10th Amendment) or favors tax relief, or attends tea parties, or opposes Obama’s policies is labeled as a "right wing extemist" and as "racist" — and even as potentially violent threats. If you are a recent U.S. military veteran, you are, according to the SPLC and the Department of Homeland Security (which uses SPLC, ADL and other disreputable websites as their sources), a potentially violent threat and a right wing extremist. [See April 2009 DHS Report] By their estimation, half the U.S. population or more is a potentially violent threat and part of this "vast right wing conspiracy." If you believe the SPLC, then violent racists and Nazis lurk behind every shrub and weed patch and the bogey man will be getting you if you don’t send money soon to enable the SPLC to "fight hate."

We challenge you, sir, or any SPLC propagandist, to show where any member of the SCV (much less a member in a leadership position) has committed an act of violence or even advocated violence as a solution. You can’t. But with the SPLC, merely being opposed to affirmative action is the same as favoring lynching. Being opposed to illegal immigration is equated with advocating violence against immigrants of color. Author/Philosopher Ayn Rand called such demagoguery "the broad brush smear." It is shameful and unfair. God’s 8th Commandment speaks to bearing false witness—and we know that the SPLC opposes public display of the Ten Commandments. Do you not believe in the Ten Commandments? Or are you deluded enough to think the smears you parrot are truth?

Obviously, any large group cannot control the thoughts and actions of all its members. Let’s say you’re a member of GreenPeace and other GreenPeace members bomb an animal research facility. Does that make you a terrorist and anarchist? Let’s say that you’re a member of the AARP and some other member of the AARP is caught viewing child pornography. Does this make you a fiendish pedophile advocate? Let’s say that you’re elected to the U.S. Senate. Since Sen. Robert C. Byrd from West Virginia is a former (?) member of the Ku Klux Klan, does that mean that you and former Sen. Obama share KKK sentiments? Let’s say you’re a member of the NAACP and several NAACP leaders sexually harrass their employees. Does that make you a woman-hating sexist pig? That Broad Brush is nasty, isn’t it?

Again, sir, we don’t expect you to give our views much consideration; we don’t especially value yours. Obviously, we read some of your writings and most often shake our heads and move on rather than directly responding. We know you’re an opinion writer but you must have some early experience or training as a "journalist" who is supposed to value truth above partisanship and who doesn’t want to be a tool of manipulators.

We simply challenge you to look into the SPLC below the surface, see their actions and tactics over decades, and then look into your own soul and decide whether they are a credible source of information and one with which you want to associate. Yes, we’re aware that if you question the SPLC’s lies and distortions that will force you to question much of the "logic" and fallacy in the words you have written over the years.

Veritas Vos Liberabit. The truth will set you free. The links below are full of links to various news stories, opinion, investigative reports and sources. Judge for yourself.

Steve Scroggins
Macon, GA

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